Sadako Sasaki

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Sadako Sasaki
Sadako Sasaki as photographed in 1955
Born(1943-01-07)7 January 1943
Died25 October 1955(1955-10-25) (aged 12)
Hiroshima, Japan
Cause of deathLeukemia
Resting placeFukuoka Prefecture, Japan
NationalityJapanese
Known forAtomic bomb victim

Sadako Sasaki ((1943-01-07)7 January 1943 – (1955-10-25)25 October 1955) was a Japanese girl who was a atomic bomb victim. Sadako, then aged 2, was exposed to the radiation of the atomic bomb when it was dropped on Hiroshima. After the bombing, she survived for another ten years, becoming one of the most widely known atomic bomb victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. She is best known for folding one thousand origami cranes in the hope of recovery. She died on (1955-10-25)25 October 1955, at the age of 12, in Hiroshima, Japan.

Biography[change | change source]

Sadako Sasaki was born into a Japanese family in the city of Kusunoki. On the morning hours of 6 August 1945, Sadako was at home with her family when the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. During the bombings, she was thrown out of her house through the window. Her mother ran outside to find her, suspecting she may be severely injured or even dead, but found Sadako without any apparent injuries. While they were fleeing, Sadako and her mother were caught in nuclear fallout. Sadako's grandmother died in the bombings.

Education[change | change source]

When she grew up, Sadako went to school and became an important member of her class' relay race.

Condition[change | change source]

In November 1954, Sadako got oedema on her neck and legs. Two months later in January 1955, Sadako developed purpura on her legs. She was afterwards diagnosed with leukemia. It was explained to her family that she had leukemia as a result of exposure to and the and radiation of the atomic bomb. She was hospitalized on 21 February 1955, and was expected to live for only a few months. She was given blood transfusions on the day she was hospitalized.

Folding origami cranes[change | change source]

In early August 1955, Sadako was moved into a room with a girl named Kiyo, who was a junior high school student who was two years older than her. Origami cranes were brought to her room by a local high school club. On 3 August, when Sadako asked why origami cranes were brought into her room, Chizuko Hamamoto, Sadako's friend, told her a legend that folding origami cranes would grant someone's wish, and it had to be 1000 of them. Upon hearing this, Sadako began folding 1000 origami cranes, in the hope of recovery from leukemia. Although she had plenty of free time during her days in the hospital, she began to run out of paper, and began using things such as medicine wrappers. She even went to other patient's rooms and asked for paper wrappers from their get well soon presents. However, given her illness, it is disputed whether Sadako ever managed to fold 1000 origami cranes.

Death[change | change source]

While hospitalized, Sadako's condition worsened. In October 1955, Sadako's left leg became purple and had oedema. In the last days of her life, when Sadako's family urged her to eat some food, Sadako asked for chazuke and (while or after eating) said, "It's tasty." She then thanked her family, with those probably being her last words. She died on the morning hours of (1955-10-25)25 October 1955, at the age of 12.

Examination of body and cremation[change | change source]

After her death, Sadako's body was examined by the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC) for research on the effects of the atomic bomb on the human body. Her body was cremated after the examination.